I’ve just published a new Middle East Eye article offering my take on her recent meltdown leading to the cancellation of her TV show. I hope you’ll both read it and promote it on social media.
Since I don’t have to repeat what I’ve already written here, I can bring up this strange new post by her from earlier today in which she correctly lays out the four criteria of true repentance (teshuvah) in Jewish tradition. The irony is that while she’s portrayed the stages correctly, she hasn’t satisfied any of them in the aftermath of her disgusting tweet about Valerie Jarrett.
First, repentance must be sincere and genuine. As I believe she is some form of sociopath, I don’t believe she has the capacity to understand what she did was wrong (like her biggest fan in the White House). Her tweets in defense of the original one attacking Jewett only confirm this: I was under the influence of Ambien; I didn’t know Jewett was Black, etc. So a sociopath doesn’t have the capability of truly repenting.
Second, Barr hasn’t offered any form of restitution to Jarrett or anyone smeared by her original tweet. She hasn’t apologized to African-Americans or Muslims, each of whom were implicated. Nor has she made any gesture that one could characterize as offering restitution or reparation to the victims for her dreadful behavior.
Third, though she issued a pro forma apology in the form of a tweet in which she addressed both Jarrett and “Americans,” she posted it before the decision to cancel her show was announced. In other words, the apology was a calculated attempt to mitigate her own self-destructive behavior. And it didn’t work. Jarrett never accepted the apology and the ABC executives who canned the show certainly didn’t believe it ameliorated anything.
As for “admitting she was wrong,” to do that she would have to transform her entire world-view and reject all of the hateful nostrums she’s been peddling for years. There’s absolutely no way she will or can do that.
This tweet once again shows how completely self-absorbed she is. The only hurt she’s feeling is the loss of her TV show and reputation. She has no recognition of the impact of her actions on others. No ability to engage with them genuinely.
This is more of the Roseanne Barr Show, a form of theatrics for the benefit of her admirers and supporters. What irks me is that she’s using Jewish tradition as a shield to protect her from the full impact of her wrong. She is not confronting her error. Instead, her version of Judaism is consoling her without challenging her to change her attitudes or behavior.
This story has legs and lessons. I wonder who the people are who laugh at such so-called humor. The people who vote for Trump and his supporters in the Congress? And though I am glad of main stream media alienating itself from this vileness, as has been pointed out, this was a financial/brand decision at least in part by ABC owned by Disney. This kind of abusive “humor” has gone, and not only here. But I am reminded of the old Borscht Belt comedians who would say and do anything for a laugh, including opening a fly even dropping pants (the men). Oh so funny. Anything for a laugh. But that was in a certain atmosphere, not broadcast nationally.
Barr, as you say is apologizing because her livelihood depends on it. Not that it worked to get her show back. She is being shamed. And at least she is attempting an apology. Trump on the other hand, her “spiritual” brother does not have to apologize it seems. As we reject Rosanne, or force her to some corner to exercise her free speech without this megaphone, this is progress, draining the swamp.(Or will Fox pick her up?)
About the swamp, we have yet to get to the political realm.
There is this story about king David ‘repenting’, which has always given me similar unpleasant vibes: After the magnificent story of Nathan confronting the king with his abhorrent treatment of Bathsheva and her husband Uriah (which may very well be unique in royal chronicles, which usually only extoll the rulers), David ‘repents’. He does not eat or drink, tears his clothes etc. (if I remember correctly). Then when his child dies (as punishment for him, although it must have been worse for Bathsheva), he gets up, eats, drinks, has a nice bath, and rubs some oil on himself, explaining: ‘Oh well, as long as I thought I could change God’s mind, it seemed a good idea to repent, but the child has died already, so why continue when there is no use anyway.’ He then right away goes out to ‘comfort’ Bathsheva, which apparently involved sex, as she then conceives Solomon.
A colourful figure for sure, or an amalgamation of stories about different people. Who knows?